Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Haiku - Week #3: Ed Markowski

Wednesday Haiku, Week #3

Earth day
our grandsons plant a package
of grape gob stoppers
Ed Markowski

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candy lined up
on leaves of bamboo...
thick summer grasses
translated by David G. Lanoue


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Charles Gramlich said...

I like that. I'd plant some books if I thought more would grow.

Wrick said...

wow. yeah, Ed's ku is fun, humorous in a yeah-this-is-our-time way.

Issa's ku, that you've posted with Ed's (David's translation) i've not read - or any translation that i'm aware of in my memory - my memory may be faulty of course, may be even leaky.

it took me a while to find a track. a connection string running through it. i still may not have done that.

what i first saw was strange - candy on bamboo leaves? - growing (living) bamboo leaves? - how could candy be lined up that way i thought. is he speaking of dew? rain drops? and thick summer grasses...what's that about. . . then i went a different route.

a vendor, (beneath a tree may be? i see him in the shade), beside a road. bamboo leaves set down to place the vendor's candy upon to keep it off the street or more likely the dust of a country road. and the season of the year - yeah, when summer grasses are thick. ...that's the season when these candy vendors appear. way cool i thought.

then. bing. Issa defined the summer moment of his time in that candy lined up on bamboo leaves. the season of the year defined by these candy-on-bamboo-leaf vendors. and. the vendors and bamboo leaves (with candy on them) define Issa's time - as well as season. wow.

and. then.

Ed. Ed defined a season as well - a season of planting - spring. may be summer if the boys believe in what they have planted. and he too, like Issa defined that season in his (our) own time. cool.

earth. an amazing place.

cool connecting up of ku.

of course... that is... i may be way off course on this.

bwahahahahaha, still. it's fun seeing it in this way for me.

bwahahaha - candy fun too. aloha.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Now there is a lovely idea. Not sure how the Kindle or Nook would fare - probably would take longer to degrade but what of the circuitry?


I think you have sussed this out very well, at least my intent in the linking. Here are David Lanoue's notes to his translation:


sasa no ha ni ame wo naraberu shigeri kana

candy lined up
on leaves of bamboo...
thick summer grasses

Ame can mean glutinous rice-jelly or candy in general; the latter translation is clearer for non-Japanese readers. The scene seems to be a little candy stand in the trees. A clue for this is the second-to-next poem in Issa's journal (for Fifth Month, 1812):
shiokarai ame no uretaru shiguri kana

salty candy
for sale...
thick summer grasses
Sasa can mean "bamboo grass" or "dwarf bamboo." The latter seems to fit here.


So, it would seem you have envisioned the little roadside candy stand perfectly. Thanks for digging in, and digging, this Wednesday ku. Exactly what I've been hoping for.


Wrick said...

@ Don (and all) - ha. you know... i had forgotten... or missed... the connection that bamboo is a grass. so in this case i take it that it is that Thick Summer Grass.

thank you for David Lanoue's notes. fascinating. before living in the islands i wouldnt have recognized or known of the jelly rice candies - in the ku i didnt see "candy" as such. still reading from my western mind i saw them as hard candies - i believe there are hard japanese candies too - but i do know these jelly rice candies locally from the Japanese culture that has a strong presence here. i will have to become more aware of how i read ku that i know to be from that culture. translation issues are amazing. I take it you find David's to be good with Issa?

it also occurs to me that we do plant books in our culture - now. we plant them in places we know as Print-On-Demand sites. we plant our books (or at least i hope to someday one day - may be this year, may be next) and if we are fortunate and the environment favorable - they may grow in numbers and spread across the planet. fun. they may even reach kindle status i suppose. ...if enough is favorable. bwahahahahhaha. way fun this planting of delicious treats concept... gob stoppers and all.

fun in Issa's Untidy Hut too. aloha - Wrick